University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Advancing Research to Create More Livable and Sustainable Communities

During the past year, the Florida Center for Community Design & Research (FCCDR) continued its applied research and technical assistance work on several community resiliency projects with local government partners including Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. These projects range from innovative mapping approaches to understanding climate impacts on vulnerable populations, ecology, and the built environment as well as the creation of an assessment guide for climate impacts to affordable housing.  

FCCDR faculty and graduate assistants have engaged communities both in-person and virtually, updating community planning projects focused on equity and urban design in Wimauma and Fort Myers. These projects also incorporate design guidelines within the local land development codes. FCCDR design-build projects are under construction for homeless veterans in St. Petersburg in partnership with local non-profit, Celebrate Outreach. Graduate assistants and faculty have worked to construct sustainable housing units over several months.  

These projects have resulted in policy recommendations which are adopted by governing bodies, and the direct impacts of the Center’s applied research have become regulatory standards for the built environment designed for local governments.

Notably, FCCDR and the School of Architecture & Community Design have partnered with the City of Tampa for a service-learning course, Streets & Blocks: City of Tampa Neighborhood Commercial Districts where Masters of Urban and Community Design students studied and proposed urban design strategies for two main street areas.